August 12, 20097 Comments

A Website Realignment: Day 0

Here is the beginning of what I hope to be a great series of posts. This series will chronicle—in as much detail as I can provide without driving myself or you crazy—the process of reinventing my brand and transforming this website in form and function.

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March 25, 20095 Comments

You will not end your life wanting more time on the computer.

Image of guy sleeping at computer

I have been in a slump as of late.

I have been busy and working (thank goodness in light of economic uncertainties). However, I have not taken time off in what is approaching a year. Feeling the burnout? Mmm... yeah maybe a touch. I have been here in this space before—to pre-burnout, then burnout and back that is—a few times. Sometimes I drive myself mad with the incessant desire to keep going, do a little bit more, forgo taking care of myself, and for what? Some imaginary idyllic computing nirvana where all my random downloads are in the trash, my email in-box is empty, and there is not an errant file sitting on my desktop? Did I just hear someone say "pipe dream?"

This 'nirvana' may be possible. But to think turning into 'Jabba the Hut' eating crap food and sitting in front of the keyboard for endless hours trying to achieve it? For what? I'm the only person that sees what is on my desktop. What kind of satisfaction do I think, that by doing this, it will somehow massage my pineal gland and make me feel complete? I enjoy working on the computer, but at what cost?

Sir? "Put down the mouse and step away from the computer."

In this era of information overload, rss feeds, social media, email, it is easy to get sucked in if your job is to sit in front of a computer doing any type of job. What is worse is if you have a propensity to be a work-a-holic (ahem), and your career as a digital gun-for-hire also happens to be your hobby as well.

I've been reminded of late that at the end of my life I will not want more time on the computer. I will not think about how "I wish I had cleaned my desktop of all those files..." Or will I think "Gee, if I only got that email inbox to zero..." I will think of the people that mean the most to me, of the places I have travelled to and the things that I have seen. I highly doubt I will think of a YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr (unless its pictures of my kids 🙂

So this is a little "note to self" posted on the Interwebz...

Put down the mouse, turn off the monitor, get up, go outside, and do something with other people. Do something other than compute.

OK, that was a bit theraputic. Now back to my email…

February 28, 2008No Comments

Barack the Brand: Are We ‘Citizens’ or ‘Consumers’?

Screen Shot from the Obama web site

I have been meaning to post about the brand of Barack Obama for a while. Then yesterday my dad emails me a link to a post by Andrew Romano about this very topic with the bonus bit of having interviewed Michael Beirut who is a partner at Pentagram. It's certainly worth a read for his take on the matter is interesting.

I have been observing, as others have, how Barack Obama has built a brand around his candidacy. Or rather how the branding and design firm his campaign hired has created what is arguably the strongest brand in the history of politics.

It's more than just the typeface (Gotham) and the clean, uncluttered look of his website and promotional materials—it’s the whole package that is so appealing. As was said by Beirut, “Obama is marketing like Apple, Nike or Starbucks. He’s selling an experience. It’s all done with such skill and finesse that as a professional, I am in absolute awe.�

I know that some people will look at this and say that this is politics, we should be focusing on substance of the candidates, not the experience or feeling they give us.

But people we are seen as consumers, not citizens.
As was said by President Bush today in his remarks about the current economy, "I want to thank the members of Congress for quickly passing an economic growth package. And that means there will be $150 billion -- or more -- sent out to American consumers and incentives inherent in that for American businesses to invest."

So you see, we are not citizens, we are consumers and we are being marketed to as such.

May the best brand win!

January 14, 2008No Comments

Working Globally


I have been working globally lately. Everyone has read about the "global economy" and how "outsourcing" is going to be the wake-up call to many a worker. But not everyone has felt direct impact from "outsourcing" or taken part in working the "global economy." I too was part of that crowd until the past few weeks (or maybe I am just a bumpkin).

I have been busy as of late. The last quarter of 2007 for my business has been the busiest ever. To help with the work flow I have been using the talents of freelance designers, production artists, and programmers. One of the latter is a programmer from Poland (who shall remain nameless to protect his identity) who has made an impact on me and my business. Up until today I only communicated with him by email and instant message.

I have worked and collaborated with many people over my years and this being my first foray into working with someone almost on the other side of the world (he is 10 hours ahead of me) I was curious how it would turn out. I have been more than pleasantly surprised. His work ethic is outstanding, his work is great, he has initiative, he is honest, and his turnaround is very fast. I have been impressed to say the least. Now I know to not be so naive to think that every worker who is not state-side has these traits. There are lazy people everywhere.

What I have come to find is that there are great people to work with across the globe and current technology makes this not only possible, but an easy and efficient way to get things done.